Accident Prone Knitter

Here you will find musings about knitting, home renovation, travelling, sports and the myriad of things I delight in. "Out into the brimming, sun bathed world I sped"

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Location: Central Pennsylvania, United States

I've lived in California, Montana, Idaho, Colorado, Toronto and Pennsylvania. I'm a retired police officer, and I've worked in accounting and payroll related fields for the last several years.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Lawn Fairy???

In response to Carl's needing a mowing hero, a lawn fairy showed up at my house while I was burning my eyeballs out at work (certain excel spreadsheets can do that, and I had the certain ones for the last four days) on a Saturday. I'm not talking some puny little fairy with wings mind you, it's one who just got done helping a friend move into a new house, I'm not done working here yet kind.

I arrived home in his car, to the first mowing occurrence of the season. Generally I mow the yard (I also shovel snow and have chopped firewood) as I enjoy it, but with the foot recuperating, and the sorry uneven state of the ground, walking on the weeds delusionally described as grass, is uncomfortable right now. The other major change was the hideous chain link fence was also taken down. When we bought the house, a year ago today actually, the property had a chain link fence that the he kind of liked. Me, not so much. The first couple of months in the house, I would curse and swear at the fence every time I cut the grass. He finally saw my wisdom (husbands generally do), but let's keep in mind that the posts for this fence were sunk in some concrete. He tells me it only took two hours; I did not ask for the count of swear words. He also painted the brake calipers on my car.

I imagine he will hit the driving range today as it is the golf season after all. I plan on sitting on the deck with my feet up, knitting, listening to a book on tape, and drinking ice tea.

On to knitting ....

I wasn't able to knit much last night as I said my eyeballs were burned out from work. I did finish the gusset on the item hopefully referred to as a sock. I found another work in progress it's a small purse that I am was making with a NORO product it's almost like a cord. I forget why I stopped, I think I lost my place or it wasn't working out right. Probably just need to start over. I'm determined to get this sock done though.

My Avalanche lost Friday night and as any hockey fan knows, the series clincher is always the hardest to win.

Friday, April 28, 2006

The wisdom of an 11 year old...

The one who is responsible for the plethora of scarves in different colors called today. We wanted more time to catch up but we both had our work calling us.

As always happens when knitters talk about life, the conversation always has to turn to the obsession, eh? So of course I'm mentioning to her the MDSW trip and saying wouldn't it be great to go together. I think she saw my dastardly plan of increasing her yarn stash though as she told me of her conversation with her son. It sounded kind of one sided actually "Mom, you can't buy any more yarn until you use what you have!" Let's keep in mind that he is 11 years old. Twenty or so years from now when he is married to a woman whose mother-in-law has tricked her into knitting as she did me, he'll be saying "Honey, you can't buy any more yarn until you use what you have!". He'll get this feeling of deja vu and wonder where he said those same words before.

So what's a Mom to do? Of course Mom's are examples to their children. Mom's have hobbies and their sons have their sports, books, bikes, music, toys, friends etc. Yarn is all that to Mom's. There I justified more shopping. Let's go to MDSW.

Moving on to Hockey

We are into the second period of the 4th game of the Colorado/Dallas series. Again, the Av's strike first but now it's Dallas leading 2-1. Slashing penalty just called on Dallas and my team is on the power play. This could get a little chippy, so I'm signing off.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

I slept through it ...

The Avalanche won last night, again in overtime, and again it was ugly. Of course that's what I hear, because I (very heavy sigh) slept through it. Fell asleep during the intermission. It was over less than two minutes into overtime. But, even though I wasn't cheering them on conciously, they still won (happy dance). They have one game to win to advance to the next round in the competition to hoist Lord Stanley's Cup. I don't expect the Dallas Stars to loose four straight but stranger things have happened.

Met up with my usual Thursday night knitting group for a couple of hours. I learn so much from these ladies. I've been having issues with picking up stitches, but with BB's help I'm happier with the result. I asked in general if they had seen the entry in blog about the yarn that is scented. JJ said she's seen needles that light up on the points. How cool is that!! I wonder though if they would be too distracting for me.

Some lovely colorways and textures are showing up in sock yarns at our gatherings but I have promised myself (were my fingers crossed at the time for an out?) not to buy yarn until MDSW. One of the ladies was knitting SO FAST I sat there amazed. BB showed us her lace shawl that she is almost done with. Beautiful. Maybe if I can get this leg warmer sock issue resolved I can figure out what my next step in knitting growth will be. Maybe a small lace project, or shadow knitting. I've seen some pictures of the shadow knitting, and the fabric it makes is really spectacular.

Planning to stop by a friends house on Saturday for a short time, the only problem is to get there I have to drive by one of our local yarn stores. As in drive by without stopping in and shopping. I hate challenges on a weekend.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Hockey and Knitting

I'll start off by saying I love hockey. I've been home from a knitting S&B session for an hour or so just in time to catch my Colorado Avalanche vs Dallas Stars. Dallas just tied it up at 2 all in the 2nd, my comment to this is #$&*!@##$. The Av's are leading the series two games to nothing. I didn't see the first game but their second game was an ugly win in overtime. I'll get back to this in a minute.

The S&B session was fun. This is my third outing with this group and there were several of us there tonight. I met and she helped me out with fine tuning my Continental style purl stitch, and discovered we will be on the same ride to MDSW. Even a co-worker of my husband was there (Hi Katrina). We were all admiring and I was wondering how does that crocheting look just like knitting? It was totally cool. A couple ladies were there sans needle and yarn, I have a hard time leaving the house without my knitting let alone walking into a coffee shop without them. They are the sane ones, are they not?

Roberta has significantly more knitting experience than I, and so I showed her my leg warmer and what I am tentatively calling my sock. We both agreed that the leg warmer could probably be used as a Christmas stocking.

Back to Hockey and sports in general. We have a Canadian and an American in this house. Both of us are sports enthusiasts - he is usually a little more enthusiastic than I am and -

- arggghh Dallas just scored another goal and it's 3-2 for Dallas just before the buzzer for the end of the 2nd period -

Where was I? OK he's Canadian and I'm the American. During the Olympics it can get pretty ugly around here, you know "USA, USA, USA" chants versus "Go Canada Go". You get the picture. His NHL team is of course Toronto Maple Leafs, and mine of course the Colorado Avalanche. Whose team is in the playoffs? - MINE. He'll generally root for my team and I his, when they aren't playing against one another. But I say again, whose team at least made it to the playoffs? Yep, MINE. Now I just have to hope they do well. Av's second game they were leading 3-0, then the Stars came back 4-3 and Colorado had to get the win in overtime. As I said earlier a very ugly win. Let's hope the third period of tonights game is more attractive than that, otherwise I'm going to be really sorry for how much salt I'm rubbing into the wound.

Back to knitting. The item tentatively being called a sock is now at the "shape instep" process. I'll be working on it tomorrow evening at my other knitting group.

It's 11:30 and don't think I'm going to take the time to proof read this, so again I apologize to all grammar and english perfectionists.

Monday, April 24, 2006

I think I have a sock

What a busy last couple of days. Work, knitting, work, home renovations, playing, playing and work.

The new swatch is looking more like a sock than the first one did. The tension seems much better and once I've turned the heel I'll try it on, take a picture, compare it to the other, and introduce it to the blog.

The other day I did some organizing of my stash. My friend who says "she who dies with most yarn, wins" will get a kick out of this, I discovered that I actually don't have as much yarn as I thought I did. This may be why I must go to Maryland Sheep and Wool. I've never been, but my knitting group says it's to be experienced. Now I'm not saying that my life depends on my going to MDSW - I save that for the really big things - boy I hope "he" doesn't read this. But I'll be much happier if I go.

Some finishing work was done on the home renovations this weekend. I really didn't help much this weekend except to provide the band aids.

Here are some before and after shots of the kitchen:

Wednesday, April 19, 2006


Maybe it should be lower case taa daaa, here is the leg warmer

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Grafting toes

I'm now at the point of grafting the toes for the leg warmer "also known as" sock. So I tried the puppy on and it's too big. Too loose in every aspect. Maybe it will shrink in the wash. But then again that might be like, "sure those shoes will stretch out after you wear them a couple of times". Like as in "when pigs fly". No offense meant to the pigs of course.

Maybe I should have made a swatch? Now why would I have done something as reasonable as that? My idea of a swatch is switching to smaller needles and starting over again. See this is actually a good learning experience for me. Once I get the sock done I will compare it to the leg warmer and then I'll have a picture of the difference needle sizes make.

I guess then I'll have to figure out how to post the pictures here.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Knitting & Yoga and Tea & Coffee

My first commentator Jayne being English prefers tea to coffee and having looked at her profile I assume prefers yoga to knitting. Maybe after reading below, she may give knitting a try.

I lived in Canada for a number of years and Canada being a British Common Wealth, taught me quite a bit about the "art" of tea. A great cup of tea is as satisfying as a great cup of coffee in my book. I even have a specific cup that I use for tea and a specific one for coffee. When preparing to make a pot of tea, I pre heat my pot with hot water, then the water must be "on the boil" when pouring over the tea bags. Some of my friends, would only briefly introduce the tea bag to the water as if afraid they wouldn't get along too well. While in "our" house, we like to think that the tea bags and water are having a party and the longer they play together the better for everyone. We like a spot of milk with ours. When cleaning out the pot, we don't use soap on the inside as that would ruin the seasoning inside the pot. We just rinse it out with again boiling water.

One thing Americans and Canadians have to remember is when ordering tea in the other country. A Canadian will order "a tea" in a restaurant and if they are in the states they will most likely get a glass of ice tea. If a Canadian actually gets the cup of tea, they wonder what this pot of warm water is with the tea bag sitting loose. In Canada, it will generally come to the table already steeping in HOT water in a pot. Sometimes when I order tea in the states, when I mention I'd like milk with mine, they ask me what size milk. To which I have to reply, "the same size idea as cream for coffee."

My first experience in Canada in making a pot of tea was, shall we say a learning experience. I was in charge of making the pot. I had never seen an "electric kettle" before. I had always heated the water in a kettle on the stove and it would whistle when the water boiled. I was asked if the tea was ready and I said no the water hadn't whistled yet. "Whistled, what do you mean?" This electric kettle didn't whistle when the water boiled. I had let the kettle almost boil dry!!! Gulp. We were able to recover from my near catastrophe, we had tea with my first expierence of true fish and chips. Not fish sticks mind you, but real beer battered fish and chips from a white cardboard box that was wrapped in newspaper. Of course we had malt vinegar and ketchup with it and...wait a minute I was talking about tea and coffee and have to get to the knitting yet.

So Jayne we have tea in common. Let's see if I can get you interested in knitting. I've never done Yoga but a knitting friend of mine is also a Yoga enthusiast. Before getting hit by the car a year ago, I was working out at the gym about 4 times a week trying to get into shape. I know the "zone" I get into when working out and can only assume that with Yoga it is more so. I think most of us knitters find that when we use a yarn that feels wonderful, the color is exactly what we were looking for, the pattern we are using is something we have had on our wish list for awhile, and we know the recepient of the item to be knitted will enjoy it (be it ourselves or a loved one) we can be in a zone and knit for a couple of hours without break. During this time we may be planning or working out in our mind all manner of things. When I take a break from my knitting I am refreshed and if something was bothering me when I started, it's all in perspective. My stress level is reduced and I'm happy and healthy.

If you haven't given it a try, maybe this entry will encourage you.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Leg Warmer and Coffee

The sock pattern I am working on is a Patons Yarns free pattern and I am using Super Socks Dazzle yarn. I picked up the pattern and yarn in a shop in Port Perry Ontario on our last trip up to visit family and pick up our coffee supply (more about our coffee supply later) about 3 weeks ago. This is a cuff down pattern. I have done the decrease under the "Shape Instep" heading and am working even prior to the "Shape Toe" heading.

I took the plunge and slipped the leg warmer on. It resembles a sock. My husband even says it resembles a sock. The only sizing options the pattern shows is for the length of the foot. I don't know if this is normal as this is the only sock pattern I have seen. I'm nervous about having enough yarn left for both leg warmers, so I measured my foot and it looks like I have to work even for about 2 more inches before I start the Shape Toe step.

Coffee Supply

Due to a myriad of reasons, in "our" household coffee is as necessary to life as milk is to the growth of bones. Basic communication in the morning is a couple of grunts prior to the consumption and infusion of caffeine. Sometimes I think a setup of IV needle, tubing and bottle would be the best way to infuse said caffeine, but due to the fact that we all have a basic aversion to needles, this household chooses to use the time accepted method of "pail o' coffee" more commonly referred to as the coffee cup.

The coffee maker that we have touts itself as a 12 cup, in both the water well and the carafe. For some reason, we only get 4 cups of coffee out of it. Could it be the size of the cup? NAAAHHH. We also have an espresso machine - for Latte's. We have a tendency to make a full pot of coffee at 8:00 at night, and go to sleep at 11:00. This comes from years of shift work.

Our coffee of choice is Tim Horton's, or as we affectionately refer to it as "Timmy's". We're in Canada 3 - 4 times a year, and generally pick up 3 large tins at a time. Tim Horton's just went public on the Toronto Stock Exchange I believe it was. We did not get in on the IPO, I wonder how it's doing lately. Tim Horton was a NHL defenceman, who started the franchise specializing in coffee, donuts, sandwiches and soups. Mr. Horton was tragically killed in a car accident on the QEW, but his franchise which I think is now part of the Wendy's organization is popping up in the States. Please, please pop up in PA.

Again, I apologize to grammar and english perfectionists.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Why Accident Prone?

It was just suggested that I explain my moniker.

It probably started with the "hydro planing tricycle accident". Picture Arte Johnson from Laugh-In on a tricycle, only it was me. As Mom describes it, I was riding my tricycle to beat the band, hit some water and tipped right over and broke my collar bone.

Go forward to school years and we have the plethora of broken fingers, paper stuck in the eye etc. Step forward a couple years again and we have a couple of broken toes from Jukado classes.

Then we have numerous sports related injuries including knee surgery, just before orthoscopic surgery was the norm. (Have I dated myself yet?)

We move forward a few more years to life in Toronto. Walking our now departed Keeshonden through a hydro field, I twisted my ankle and broke it. A couple of years later walking through the front yard, headed to pick up my husband from the airport, I twist it again and break it again. Same exact fracture line, same emergency room doctor. In a city the size of Toronto - the same ER doc never happens.

Move forward about 5 years, I'm walking across a street in downtown Harrisburg and get hit by a car. Mess up my back (worse than it was) and get a concussion. (Still saying prayers of thanks that it was not worse). So November of 2005 I reach my one year anniversary, post car accident. Every now and then I brag at least to myself, heah I've made it over a year without something happening. Then 4 weeks ago, I fall down half a flight of stairs in the middle of the night. Take myself to the doctor in the afternoon, who sends me for x rays and the next day doctor says I have two broken bones (in the same foot I broke the ankle). They later find out it's three bones. (Again, saying prayers of thanks that it was not worse.) I'm sure I've left a couple of things out, but darn if that isn't enough, eh?

Explain knitter - I think that's yet to be seen.

A blog has to have first entry

A blog has to have it's first entry and this is mine. I imagine everyone is nervous their first time?

A friend of mine taught me to knit about 10 years ago (geeze, am I that old - no it's not the years it's the mileage).

Oh yes, I should warn you my mind wanders off topic alot.

Anyway, she taught me the Continental way of knitting, then I moved to Toronto and stopped knitting for a time. I picked up knitting again when a friend I worked with in Harrisburg showed me a scarf she was knitting, and I thought "holy crap (sorry Mom & Dad) when did they start making this fun yarn." Well I was hooked. I made oodles of scarves. My husband walked up to me in a craft store once and asked, "Do you really need one in every color?" The woman next to me said "Of course she does!" Husband just laughed and knew this was one of those things when I would just look at him and say "because I'm a girl and you're a guy".

Well, let's jump ahead a couple of years to about a week and a half ago. I have weaned myself off the scarves, and have started on the dreaded first sock. I didn't just jump from scarves to this dreaded of all projects, oh no. I have made some face cloths, a dish cloth, and am in the process of finishing off a really neat purse with a "St John's Wort" pattern. I also have two WIP's (I've seen this in other blogs) of scarves, of course. Old habits die hard.

Here's the problem with the sock. I ended up frogging it (my knitting group just educated me on that one) because the sock looked like I was knitting it "on the bias" is how I describe it. I discovered after my years of non-knitting, that when I picked up the needles again, I did not remember the fine points of continental knitting. I was twisting my stitches! Guess the joke is on me, I wonder if that is why the face cloths I made seemed to be "on the bias" and the scarves I made as gifts for my mom and mother-in-law appeared to be "on the bias". I happen to be a "bit of a perfectionist" (read understatement into this as I have been known to rip out rows of stitches in my counted cross stitch projects - which is one of those things my husband just shakes his head at)

Did I mention that my mind wanders off topic?

I must thank my local knitting shop and one of the ladies in my knitting group who figured out what I was doing wrong. Like any other internet savy knitter, I Googled "Continental Knitting Instructions" and retaught myself the correct way of knitting. Sigh - I am humbled.

On Thursday night, I met up with my knitting group. The very talented lady from the knitting shop is working on a beautiful lace shawl. One of the ladies is crocheting purses (you should see the professional looking liners she does for them, I am in awe). Another was working on a hat. Unfortunately it seems like she may have twisted her cast on when connecting on circular needles - and I thought it was a beautiful mobeius scarf. When talking about it, I said she could always just use it as a scarf and say "I meant to do that" (it really is gorgeous). Later as I was knitting away and looked at the socks that some of the others were knitting I noticed how nice and dainty their socks were compared to mine. One of the ladies asked me if I was knitting leg warmers to which I replied "uhhhhhh yeah, I meant to do that" We all broke out in laughter. My sock is thinking "what will become of me - a sock am I, not a leg warmer."

I think I will close each post with an open apology to all english and or grammar perfectionists. I try, but alas I fail.